Those 2 photos, above, are probably my 2 favorite photos from growing up with my friends. They also happen to include the 4 most important people (outside of my family) to me in the world while I was growing up. They were my best friends, the kind of best friends very few adults ever get to have. They each played the role that as adults is never fully filled, but adequately compensated for, usually by an assortment of people. Now I have my husband who, I believe, is probably one of the best out there. I have my sister and my mom, and then there are your adult friends. Adult friends are amazing. Don't get me wrong. But there is a passion that isn't there with the people you meet as an adult. As an adult, I've made some amazing friends, and I in no way take that for granted, it's just different. You know what I mean. Maybe it's because I've been with Ryan since I was 17, so as an adult I've never had to rely on my friends for the kind of enduring support that you require of your friends when you don't have a live-in best friend. Whatever. The point is that the friends that you have growing up are wound into the fabric of the person that you become. They shape you. The friends that you make as an adult embrace you, but they don't have nearly the impact on you because you've already become who you are--with a few changes here and there. At least, that is my experience.
So why, then, do I never see these people? What changes? When I do sit down with any of these women, I am blown away by what amazing and fun people they are. I feel lucky to know them in any capacity. Did I just wind up with the most unbelievable childhood friends, or do I love them so much because they are a part of me? It's true that in 2 of the cases these girls live far away from me, but I don't know if that actually makes a difference, because I barely see the 2 that live near me. I had a hard time with my high school reunion. I felt so much love at my reunion, I felt like a lot of these people were like family to me. I'd known them and been close to them for so long, that when I was around them I felt at home. Home in a way I hadn't been in a long time, since I lived in my parent's house on the plateau. It was exciting. I wanted to know these people again. But, it's been a year since my reunion and everything is the same as it was. I don't think that the social networking sites help this situation, because you're kind of in contact, but not really. You know what's going on with everyone and you're constantly being reminded of people who, before Facebook, you were destined to forget.
Getting back to my 4 girls. I want to make the time. I had the pleasure of spending 6 hours over lunch and coffee with Angie tonight--just talking. I miss that conversation, and I was really glad to have had it. Now, I want more. I think that childhood friends know how to bring out the people we are at the core. Because they were there. They saw it. Before all the drama and the injury and affectation that comes in adulthood and changes you forever.
So I want to take a few minutes to remember my very favorite moments with these girls:
My Plateau Girls-Care to Dance every year, the "Dancing Teaus"; Safeway Select and Goldfish at Angie's; the Moody Blues and singing "Again" in the media room; the teary goodbye at DeeDee Abodeely's house when Jessica moved away; late night trips to Minnie's; Summer of 1995--best ever, Jess made that picture board with all our memories (I've lost mine do any of you girls still have it?) and all we listened to was Sarah Mclachlan at Jessi's dad's house; Kirkland in the Samurai; Markus and Forrest; the Devine Boys; Pookela and Jeff--the hair model; making coffee cool; getting ready for football games and dances listening to Alanis Morisette; Seattle the day after Thanksgiving; senior boys; all of you in my wedding; all of us in Jessi's wedding; my trip to the Mojave with Angie; the best friend contest from some teen magazine that we were determined to win (see photo below); Aliya taking such good care of me before my wedding when I was so sick; seeing Jessica pregnant; seeing Aliya and Maizey dance to live music; 10/10/10; I could go on and on
Sarah-our radio stations; summers in your pool and playing on the power pad; me moving away; Anne moving away and then surprising her in her empty mansion when she came to visit; you moving sososo far away; you surprising me at my door and then our trip to Ojai; Encino Man; the Viper; our long walk to Crossroads to see a movie; the houseboat trip to Lake Trinity; weekend sleepovers; the weird guy I met on the internet that I made you sit next to; making up dances; you were my bridesmaid and my real estate agent; lunches in Bellevue; seeing you in labor--you looked so uncomfortable I was worried you were going to break in half; baby Kyra and those curls; visits at the tanning salon; my bachelorette party; I miss you, I want to see you more than twice a year, which is totally my fault. Let's get together asap.
I guess this is how it goes. We grow up, we get busy, we move away, we get married, we change. But, it doesn't mean I can't feel sad about it. It doesn't mean that I can't work harder to see these people. It doesn't mean that I can't totally hope that one day all of us will be in the room together again. Laughing and eating goldfish crackers and drinking pop, reading magazines together...